Man who doesn’t own a cat surprised to find a ginger kitty in his garage while fixing his jeep

Photographer Steve Hamel was working on his car one day in December 2020 when an unexpected guest arrived—a long-haired ginger feline with white mittens.

Steve was certain that the cat was not a stranger when she ran around his garage and hopped onto his jeep.

“I’m just trying to fix my jeep. I don’t even own a cat,” he said as he shared his story with Love Meow.


Steve didn’t know where the cat had come from, but he was smitten by the friendly feline. She tried to get his attention, and even climbed up onto his shoulders to snuggle. The cat rode around the garage while he worked.

After taking a tour of the jeep, she climbed onto a crane to inspect it. The cat eventually settled on a toolbox as her bed and began to use it as a ladder.

Steve didn’t expect to meet a little helper in his garage that day, but he’s glad that he did.

A ginger cat clinging onto a man's face

The sweet kitty didn’t come with a tag, and they also couldn’t find a microchip, so Steve and his family began knocking on their neighbors’ doors to see if she had an owner.

“If we are unsuccessful we will be keeping the cat. She is quite a love,” Steve wrote on Facebook.

His daughter named the cat Sally by then and the entire family fell in love. They bought her some supplies, and gave her a name tag.

A ginger cat lounging on an open toolbox

“Sally loves to hang out on my shoulders and although she does have a full set of claws that make it painful to do this in the house, my work jacket makes it pretty comfortable,” Steve said.

He posted Sally’s story on Facebook, where it went viral and earned thousands of reactions. A few days later, the cat found its way into his garage. He was contacted immediately by a family who recognized him.

It turned out that Sally had owners who lived in the region.

A ginger cat with her owners

“We found the owners. These wonderful people were reunited to their beloved cat. They lived right around the corner from us and had many heart warming photos of the cat playing with their daughter,” Steve wrote in an update.

Steve said it “felt good” to reunite Sally with her owners, although he admitted it was “heartbreaking” at the same time. They knew it was the right decision and have no regrets.

The loss of Sally left them with a cat-shaped hole. They began to discuss the possibility of adding a feline to their family.

A man sitting on a couch with his brown dog and black cat

They ended up adopting an adorable black cat, and they couldn’t be happier.

“We wanted a tabby but this one stole our hearts. She’s super sweet and black cats are less likely to be adopted than other cats. We had already made a Sally tag, so this is Sally 2.0.,” Steve said.

After moving in, Sally 2.0 quickly settled in. Their family now includes several dogs and one cat. They are a perfect blend of both!

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